Force forward making difference on and off the court

VITAL WORK: Ipswich Force’s Lauren O’Sullivan is a valuable team player in the state league.
VITAL WORK: Ipswich Force’s Lauren O’Sullivan is a valuable team player in the state league. David Nielsen

AS the elite basketballer in her well-known Ipswich family, Lauren O'Sullivan regularly makes an impact on court.

She's determined, strong and defensively one of Ipswich Force's most valuable state league players.

However, it's away from basketball that the Ripley-based sportswoman is also hoping to make a difference.

Having just completed her public health exams, O'Sullivan wants to travel overseas helping the less fortunate improve their health, hygiene and nutrition.

She's already spent two months in South America, as part of her Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree (majoring in Population Health) through UQ.

She wants to pursue more overseas opportunities in Third World countries like Nepal.

"I pretty much want to work in health promotion and health research, hopefully looking at community health and social health," she said.

Her selfless approach to others is matched by her energy to try new things.

"I'm a bit of a thrill-seeker, love live music and road trips, any adventure really," the 178cm player said.

"I love getting out, having a go at everything, just going to places I haven't been before.

"I really enjoy some crazy stuff."

She's tried bungee-jumping in South America, New Zealand and Australia, and has travelled to Thailand.

O'Sullivan loves nothing more than a weekend away with friends at Byron Bay, or playing basketball.

However, her fourth season with the Ipswich Force has recently been hampered by shin splints.

After making a promising start to the 2013 season, the player nicknamed Loz was forced to sit out last weekend's QBL match against Brisbane Capitals.

"They are so annoying. They are constantly there," she said of shin splints.

"The only thing you can do to make it better is literally rest, which is really annoying when you're in the middle of the season.

"I haven't trained this week to see how I go in the game.

"I've pretty much just got to manage it at the moment."

It's the first time she's been troubled by the condition.

Preparing for tonight's clash against South West Metro in Brisbane, O'Sullivan has enjoyed her main role as first or second rotation off the bench.

"I'm a little bit disappointed that I haven't been able to probably get on court as much as I'd like because of injury but I'm pretty happy," she said.

"I like to do other work that other people wouldn't notice. It's what I'm good at and I've always played like that."

She's hoping that managing her shin splits will allow her to continue contributing to the Force side on track for another state league playoff series.

Ipswich born and bred O'Sullivan was a state junior representative and made an Australian Schools training squad while at Bremer State High.

The former Silkstone Primary School student also enjoyed a short training stint with the Logan Thunder Women's National Basketball League side.

With other O'Sullivan family members succeeding in sports like cricket and football, she's pleased to have basketball as her outlet to achieve.

"Generally I am a very self-confident person," she said.

"I believe in my ability to achieve what I want."

Hearing her talk about caring for others and chasing her dreams, it's easy to see why that's the case.


Player Profile

Lauren O'Sullivan. Age: 20.

With: Ipswich basketball since five. "The club itself is very inviting and a good place to play".

Favourite player: Chris Anderson - "his impact off the bench and intensity is something I aspire to do".

Superstitions: "I always listen to the same playlist on my way to the game and in the national anthem I tell myself what I want from the game. I have some songs that are a bit more upbeat like happy party songs but then I have a few songs that are believe in yourself, underdog kind of songs to get me in the mood of victory."


Game Day

QBL tonight: Ipswich Force v South West Metro at Hibiscus Sports Complex. Women at 5pm with men's match at 7pm.

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